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Out the back door
Princeton claws past N.C. State to advance in NIT
Posted: Monday March 15, 1999 10:55 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Brian Earl has bailed Princeton out numerous times the past four seasons. With his career nearing its end, the senior point guard did it again Monday night in the second round of the NIT.
The Tigers were clinging to a three-point lead in raucous Reynolds Coliseum when Earl hit a hotly-contested driving layup with the shot clock winding down and 15 seconds left in the game to clinch a 61-58 win over North Carolina State.
Earl's key banker came on a busted play after Princeton (22-7) had almost thrown the ball out of bounds in the waning moments.
"There was like 5 or 6 seconds left on the shot clock when I got the ball back so we weren't going to get into our offense," said Earl, fifth on Princeton's all-time scoring list. "I can dribble and play a little bit and I made a move and got a shot off."
Earl said it was more satisfying for him to clinch the win in historic Reynolds Coliseum.
"It's hostile and that's the way you dream of it. I'm a senior and it's a nice place to get a win. It's one of the greatest places I've ever played in," he said.
Chris Young scored a career high 24 points and reserve C.J. Chapman hit three key 3-pointers as Princeton advanced to the third round against Xavier, a winner over Wake Forest.
Bill Carmody's five starters all went 40 minutes in Princeton's first-round win over Georgetown, but this time he got a big boost off the bench from Chapman, who scored nine points after being held scoreless in his last six games.
Young's previous high was 23 points against Columbia on Feb. 27.
"When we didn't get in the [NCAA] Tournament this year we were really down" said Carmody. "We used to come close to teams like this four, five, six years ago, now we are beating our share of them. That makes us feel good."
The Wolfpack (19-14) failed to make it to the third round of the NIT for the third straight season at home and fell one win shy of 20 for the first time in eight years.
"Give Princeton credit," said Wolfpack coach Herb Sendek, "they stifled us on both ends of the court."
Anthony Grundy led N.C. State with 21 points.
Young, the Ivy League rookie of the year, did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 16 points in the opening 20 minutes as the Tigers led by eight.
Princeton increased the margin to as many as 11 midway through the second half before the Wolfpack closed within three on a Ron Kelley follow with 49 seconds left.
But after a Princeton time out, Earl closed the deal with his clutch drive and shot.
Princeton took the early lead, setting the tempo with its deliberate offense and zone defense. But the Wolfpack went on a 15-2 run as its athletic front line began to take over.
Kelley sparked the surge with a follow shot, a hook in the lane and a layup for a 17-10 lead as the Tigers went cold from the outside, missing five straight 3-pointers.
But Princeton's cold shooting wouldn't last long. The Tigers made five straight shots from behind the arc as part of a 17-2 run to close the half for a 27-19 lead. Young scored eight points during the 6 1/2-minute run, including two 3-pointers.
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